Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation

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Some Thoughts on Our “Aging and Community: Redefined” Event

Posted on Oct 4, 2013

By
Paul Tang, MD, MS
Vice President, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer

Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 was a big day for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s linkAges Program as more than 200 representatives of community, social service, private and not-for profit organizations gathered at our public symposium, Aging and Community: Redefined!, to discuss strategies to support our senior community – growing 10,000 people stronger every day.

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), one of northern California’s largest providers of primary and specialty care, is redefining itself as a community partner to address non-medical determinants of health and support aging in community. Our linkAges Program now has partnerships with 17 local nonprofits, neighborhood associations, faith-based organizations, and businesses who understand the value of working together to rebuild community.

The keynote speaker at the event, Bruce Chernof, CEO of SCAN Foundation, a foundation that focuses on the wellbeing of seniors, explained that “chasing diseases is not where the money is. It’s about addressing functions. Function is about the quality of life.  That solution is going to be based in the community.”

A stakeholder panel representing corporations, social services, and other foundations confirmed Dr. Chernof’s claim that in order to successfully address the needs of seniors, we must partner with the community.

I had the opportunity to describe PAMF’s Successful Aging program and our linkAges system. The receptivity by community leaders and seniors to the disruptive ideas we proposed was heartwarming and gratifying.  We described the way PAMF is redefining our role as an organization that not only delivers healthcare, but also partners with the community in raising the health and well-being of residents, particularly seniors.  Many participants stepped up to our request for their engagement by signing up for timebanking, offering to donate their services and their time, and providing funding.

PAMF is proud to be taking an activist role, joining with our community partners, to implement a solution that empowers and supports seniors aging in community!

We invite you to join us in this effort!

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